In online experimentation, appropriate metrics (e.g., purchase) provide strong evidence to support hypotheses and enhance the decision-making process. However, incomplete metrics are frequently occurred in the online experimentation, making the available data to be much fewer than the planned online experiments (e.g., A/B testing). In this work, we introduce the concept of dropout buyers and categorize users with incomplete metric values into two groups: visitors and dropout buyers. For the analysis of incomplete metrics, we propose a clustering-based imputation method using k-nearest neighbors. Our proposed imputation method considers both the experiment-specific features and users’ activities along their shopping paths, allowing different imputation values for different users. To facilitate efficient imputation of large-scale data sets in online experimentation, the proposed method uses a combination of stratification and clustering. The performance of the proposed method is compared to several conventional methods in both simulation studies and a real online experiment at eBay.
Subdata selection from big data is an active area of research that facilitates inferences based on big data with limited computational expense. For linear regression models, the optimal design-inspired Information-Based Optimal Subdata Selection (IBOSS) method is a computationally efficient method for selecting subdata that has excellent statistical properties. But the method can only be used if the subdata size, k, is at last twice the number of regression variables, p. In addition, even when $k\ge 2p$, under the assumption of effect sparsity, one can expect to obtain subdata with better statistical properties by trying to focus on active variables. Inspired by recent efforts to extend the IBOSS method to situations with a large number of variables p, we introduce a method called Combining Lasso And Subdata Selection (CLASS) that, as shown, improves on other proposed methods in terms of variable selection and building a predictive model based on subdata when the full data size n is very large and the number of variables p is large. In terms of computational expense, CLASS is more expensive than recent competitors for moderately large values of n, but the roles reverse under effect sparsity for extremely large values of n.